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Midi input as chord conductor
#1
Hi Guys,

Very proud owner of a Kickstarter NDLR  Big Grin

I need a little clarification on how the midi input works as a chord "conductor" - and may have a feature request in conjunction with that.

I have a fairly extensive "improv" performance rig - and am very excited to integrate the NDLR into it! This setup includes Ableton, a large modular synth, and a whole host of midi/vst synths etc.

At the heart of all of this is a left hand single chromatic midi octave zone (from an SL mk3) that sends "conductor pitches" to Ableton and the modular; so say, if I trigger the keys of C MAJ, the various destinations receive those pitches and trigger the appropriate instruments and modular sequencers which are set to quantize all the notes into a given scale (in this case, C MAJ).  On the right zone of the SL, I can simultaneously improv melodies to other destinations; as a keyboard player I'm simply playing with both hands in the key of C MAJ and the various pitch quantizers are doing the rest.

This is also true then if I play in, say, C MIN (in it's most basic form, the modular is particularly conducive to playing in scales and modes based on a C root). I simply set the pitch quantizers to include only the notes in C min, and I play the SLmk3 in C min - which of course includes Eb, Ab, and Bb.  So I can play as a musician with both hands in any key (as normal) and the whole system "conducts" the various midi streams/instruments/CV etc. into the correct key.  Clearly, this would be a perfect environment for a NDLR!

Now, here's my confusion.  If I understand the manual correctly, the NDLR uses a sort of "modified" note input scheme, where the MAJ (white) notes of a C scale play the chord degrees (of any Root/scale set up in the NDLR), and black notes trigger chord qualities.  This is cool, but the non-standard nature of it prevents me from integrating the NDLR into my setup in the same way as all the rest of my gear.

What I need is for the NDLR to "pre-quantize" an incoming midi note stream such that it would recognize that, as an example, if I set the NDLR internally to have a root note of C and a scale of Minor, it would recognize an incoming Ab as the root note of the six chord - and move to that scale degree accordingly. As it stands, right now I think I'd have to play an A natural in my left hand to trigger the NDLR's six chord; but that's a little hard when you're thinking and playing in the key of C minor with your RIGHT hand! Also, everything else in the rig is expecting an Ab from the left hand zone at that point; so an A will be bent into either an Ab or a Bb depending on the accuracy of the other quantizers in the moment.  

The NDLR looking for the correct "root" pitches on the incoming midi side based on a chosen scale would in fact be a more traditional behavior as well - so I'd think in many case it would allow it to "play well with others" a lot more easily.

So, do I understand the current implementation in the NDLR and the limitation therein, or can I already do what I want?  If not, as a feature request, even just having you guys include the programming in a new firmware for the ability for the NDLR to recognize either only the input notes of C MAJ (as now) AND C min as an option would be a huge help!!! This could be for just a single octave pf incoming input notes (you could move the optional chord qualities selection triggers to a second octave above that). And if you wanted to take it a step further, recognizing all the modes but still based on a root of C would be absolutely killer!!! 

Thanks again for building an amazing piece of kit!  

Cheers,

Chris
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#2
Gonna get the Zaquencer firmware and try to achieve what your suggesting, would make a great combo I think:


Zaquencer: The Incredible Sequencer You May Already Own
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#3
(03-11-2019, 10:39 AM)shsCT Wrote: If I understand the manual correctly, the NDLR uses a sort of "modified" note input scheme, where the MAJ (white) notes of a C scale play the chord degrees (of any Root/scale set up in the NDLR), and black notes trigger chord qualities.  This is cool, but the non-standard nature of it prevents me from integrating the NDLR into my setup in the same way as all the rest of my gear.
This is  called NDLR Cntl on System menu 1 which is an alternative to using MIDI CC messages for selecting chords and chord type. It is meant to be used as a remote control for NDLR Chord buttons. So no, this isn't what you are looking for.

Quote:The NDLR looking for the correct "root" pitches on the incoming midi side based on a chosen scale would in fact be a more traditional behavior as well - so I'd think in many case it would allow it to "play well with others" a lot more easily.

So, do I understand the current implementation in the NDLR and the limitation therein, or can I already do what I want?  If not, as a feature request, even just having you guys include the programming in a new firmware for the ability for the NDLR to recognize either only the input notes of C MAJ (as now) AND C min as an option would be a huge help!!! This could be for just a single octave pf incoming input notes (you could move the optional chord qualities selection triggers to a second octave above that). And if you wanted to take it a step further, recognizing all the modes but still based on a root of C would be absolutely killer!!! 

Another feature is called KB Trans, also on System menu 1. The incoming MIDI notes on this channel will be transposed from the key of ‘C Maj’ (white keys – C to B) to the current key and mode. The transposed notes are passed through to MIDI out to be played on your synth module. See the manual section "MIDI Note & Message Thru Port Mapping".
Its probably not exactly what you were looking for, but you can approximate your request by assigning MIDI controller buttons to send CCs to change key and mode while using the KB Trans feature. 

Now, regarding the feature request, we have had this request (or similar) from other keyboard players. We are discussing how we could potentially accommodate this request.
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#4
I think we have a solution that will work better for keyboard players. We will post it as a beta shortly.

There will be 2 additional Keyboard Control modes (this was Black Keys On/Off) menu Setting #1 box labeled “KB Cntl”
             
1. (no change) White keys only – Key of 'C',  C-B maps to Chord Degrees I-VII (see user guide)

2. (no change) White and Black keys – Key of 'C',  C-B maps to Chord Degrees I-VII, Black keys map to Chord Types (see user guide)

3. (new) “The NDLR Set Key”,  Note Degrees I-VII of the currently selected key and mode directly select Chord Degrees I-VII, No Chord Types selection in this mode.  i.e. In the Key of “D”…  the D-key on the KB selects Chord Degree I, the F#-key on the KB selects Chord Degree iii.

4. (new) “The NDLR Set Key +”, just like #3 but you must press a second note (while holding the 1st) to choose the Chord Type. Scale degree: 2nd selects sus2, 3rd  selects triad, 4th selects sus4, 5th select triad, 6th select 6th, 7th select 7th.   If you continue to hold the 1st key pressed you can trigger different Chord Types. 
Notes that are not in the selected Key/Mode do nothing.

This should work for those who know how to tickle the ivories  Cool What do you think?
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#5
(03-14-2019, 12:59 PM)Darryl Wrote: I think we have a solution that will work better for keyboard players. We will post it as a beta shortly.

There will be 2 additional Keyboard Control modes (this was Black Keys On/Off) menu Setting #1 box labeled “KB Cntl”
             
1. (no change) White keys only – Key of 'C',  C-B maps to Chord Degrees I-VII (see user guide)

2. (no change) White and Black keys – Key of 'C',  C-B maps to Chord Degrees I-VII, Black keys map to Chord Types (see user guide)

3. (new) “The NDLR Set Key”,  Note Degrees I-VII of the currently selected key and mode directly select Chord Degrees I-VII, No Chord Types selection in this mode.  i.e. In the Key of “D”…  the D-key on the KB selects Chord Degree I, the F#-key on the KB selects Chord Degree iii.

4. (new) “The NDLR Set Key +”, just like #3 but you must press a second note (while holding the 1st) to choose the Chord Type. Scale degree: 2nd selects sus2, 3rd  selects triad, 4th selects sus4, 5th select triad, 6th select 6th, 7th select 7th.   If you continue to hold the 1st key pressed you can trigger different Chord Types. 
Notes that are not in the selected Key/Mode do nothing.

This should work for those who know how to tickle the ivories  Cool What do you think?

no replies....

'New forum reply emails' were going to spam for me...not sure if there's an issue with your domain name being flagged (gmail)
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#6
Yes! New mode #3 sounds like exactly what I was hoping for.  Thanks for creating a speedy solution!
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#7
I like these proposed options, #3 sounds like a good fit for me as well.

Regarding #4, is there a way to instead play the entire chord on the keyboard that you want NDLR to play? This would eliminate the need to break the habit of actually playing the full chord instead of playing the two notes NDLR wants to see. If not, the proposed #4 sounds like the next best thing. Maybe instead a 5th option where it reads the full chords?
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#8
(03-26-2019, 08:39 AM)therosskonian Wrote: I like these proposed options, #3 sounds like a good fit for me as well.

Regarding #4, is there a way to instead play the entire chord on the keyboard that you want NDLR to play? This would eliminate the need to break the habit of actually playing the full chord instead of playing the two notes NDLR wants to see. If not, the proposed #4 sounds like the next best thing. Maybe instead a 5th option where it reads the full chords?

Try out the open beta, it implements the 2 new control modes and fixes some sync issues too.
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